Patch Management

The Challenge

Patch management is the process of tracking and deploying software updates throughout an organization. Patches could add new features, fix software bugs, and most importantly, fix known vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the software. This makes patch management a vital part of any cybersecurity program.

Unfortunately, there are several challenges to managing patches:

  • Overwhelming number of patches – It can be a daunting task to monitor multiple vendors for a constant stream of software updates, evaluate the patches to determine applicability, apply the patches, and verify successful remediation. 
  • Patches have side effects – New patches should be tested before deployment to ensure the update does not conflict with other software, introduce new vulnerabilities, or affect functionality.
  • Patches can require downtime – Critical services on a server may need to be stopped, or a system may need to be rebooted to install the patch, impacting system availability and service level agreements.
  • Audit requirements – While important for proper change control and auditing, it can be very time-consuming to document patch requests, approvals and verification.

Why Does Patch Management Matter?

Cyber-attackers continue to seek out and exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems and software applications. Vendors continuously respond by fixing the vulnerabilities through software updates. Without the right investments in people, process, and technology, an organization can quickly fall behind on critical patches that address security and compliance requirements.

Recent industry research has found that many common cyber attacks are preventable with proper patch management. The Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report found that “for the overwhelming majority of attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities, the patch had been available for months prior to the breach.”

A comprehensive patch management program that includes automation, change control, and reporting, is the key to reducing your attack surface and meeting compliance mandates. Automation technology should be used to subscribe to vendor updates and automatically check your endpoints and servers for applicability. The solution should enable you to deploy updates in a controlled fashion, and allow you to test patches before wider deployment.

With a patch management solution you will be able to:

  • Maintain current knowledge of patches for OS’s, browsers, and 3rd-party applications
  • Evaluate which patches are applicable for particular systems
  • Deploy patches to multiple systems in one action
  • Verify that patches are installed properly
  • Generate reports for process improvement and audit records 

These activities can make drastic improvements in your security posture and prevent attackers for exploiting well-known vulnerabilities.

How Does EiQ Help?

SOCVue Patch Management reduces your exposure to known vulnerabilities by proactively deploying recommended security patches. The service automatically scans Windows and Linux endpoints for missing patches for the OS, browser and 3rd-party applications like Java and Adobe. Through EiQ’s SOCVue Portal, you can review, approve and remediate patches with the proper change control processes and reporting. The SOCVue Patch Management service combines the low cost and flexibility of a SaaS solution with the support and expertise of a 24/7/365 Security Operations Center. EiQ’s SOC team will install and maintain the platform, and assist with the ticketing and audit reports to meet industry best practices. There is no hidden server maintenance cost or effort for your in-house team.

Also, by combining our hybrid security-as-a-service solutions, SOCVue Vulnerability Management, SOCVue Security Monitoring, and SOCVue Patch Management, your organization can easily correlate vulnerability results with active attacks that are detected in your network.

Learn More About SOCVue Security as a Service

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